When was the longest it took to elect a speaker of the House?

The House can conduct no other business until a speaker is chosen. But the current limbo is nowhere near the longest-ever speaker vote, which occurred in 1855 and 1856.

The record for most rounds of votes, according to the Office of the Historian of the House, is the 34th Congress, when Rep. Nathaniel Prentice Banks of Massachusetts was only elected speaker after 133 rounds and some two months of voting.

Because of conflict over slavery and immigration, according to the office, the political atmosphere was tense and more than 20 people tried to become speaker.

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